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In the last couple of months, there were very few recalls due to microbial contamination. However, a couple of recalls were announced in the last few days.

GreenCore Recall of Sandwiches due to Listeria monocytogenes

On September 29, 2017, the FDA announced that GreenCore had recalled a variety of sandwich salads (egg salad sandwiches, ham salad sandwiches, and seafood) because Listeria monocytogenes (LM) was found after a routine inspection by the FDA at the Rhode Island plant environment. LM was not found in any of the products of the company.

The sandwiches were distributed to American Food and Vending, Hannaford Brothers, Target, and Turkey Hill in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York.

The company did not receive any reports of illnesses, but there is a concern that there might be recalled products in customer refrigerators, because the use by date on the sandwiches ranges from October 2 to 19. The company said that the recall was “purely precautionary measure, as no finished products have been found to have Listeria present and no confirmed illnesses have been reported.”

As a result of the recall, GreenCore Company shares had fallen by 7% in London.

GreenCore troubles with LM go way back to 2011 when the FDA inspectors found LM on food contact surfaces in their production facility in Newburyport, MA. In October 2012, a warning letter was sent to the company ordering them to clean up their operation and establish programs to prevent pathogens in the environment.

In November of 2016, GreenCore chicken Hummus sandwiches were recalled as part of the Sabra hummus recall.

Vermont Livestock recalls Ground Beef Contaminated with E. coli O157: H7

On October 13, the US Food Service Inspection (FSIS) and the US Department of Agriculture announced the recall of around 133 pounds of ground beef products from Vermont Livestock because it might have been contaminated with E. coli O157: H7.

The FSIS was notified about an investigation of the illnesses of two children by E. coli O157: H7 on September 30, 2017.  One of the two children was hospitalized, and since both children have recovered. Working with the Vermont Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, identified the source of the infection as being cooked beef burgers served at Bread & Butter Farm event.

Using Traceback information showed that the beef for the burgers was supplied by Vermont Livestock Slaughter & Processing. In abundance of caution, the company is recalling the products. The recalled ground beef is no longer available in commerce. However, the FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in customers’ freezers.

Pinnacle Foods recalls Frozen Sweet Peas Due to Listeria monocytogenes 

Birds Eye brand peas are being recalled by several grocery chains, such as Publix, due to positive samples for LM. However, the FDA had not issued a public notice. The recalled Birds Eye Baby Sweet Peas (13 oz. package) have“Best By” dates of July 5, 2019, and July 6, 2019. Approximately 25,000 cases of product are being recalled by Pinnacle Foods.  No illness has been reported as a result of this recall. However, there is a concern that customers have some products in their freezers.

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